The Lord Takes Delight in Zion
1 “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent;
for the sake of Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines brightly#tn Heb “goes forth like brightness.”
and her deliverance burns like a torch.”
2 Nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your splendor.
You will be called by a new name
that the Lord himself will give you.#tn Heb “which the mouth of the Lord will designate.”
3 You will be a majestic crown in the hand of the Lord,
a royal turban in the hand of your God.
4 You will no longer be called, “Abandoned,”
and your land will no longer be called “Desolate.”
Indeed,#tn Or “for”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “but.” you will be called “My Delight is in Her,”#tn Hebrew חֶפְצִי־בָהּ (kheftsi-vah), traditionally transliterated “Hephzibah” (so KJV, ASV, NIV).
and your land “Married.”#tn Hebrew בְּעוּלָה (bÿ’ulah), traditionally transliterated “Beulah” (so KJV, ASV, NIV).
For the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married to him.#tn That is, the land will be restored to the Lord’s favor and once again enjoy his blessing and protection. To indicate the land’s relationship to the Lord, the words “to him” have been supplied at the end of the clause.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so your sons#tc The Hebrew text has “your sons,” but this produces an odd metaphor and is somewhat incongruous with the parallelism. In the context (v. 4b, see also 54:5-7) the Lord is the one who “marries” Zion. Therefore several prefer to emend “your sons” to בֹּנָיִךְ (bonayikh, “your builder”; e.g., NRSV). In Ps 147:2 the Lord is called the “builder of Jerusalem.” However, this emendation is not the best option for at least four reasons. First, although the Lord is never called the “builder” of Jerusalem in Isaiah, the idea of Zion’s children possessing the land does occur (Isa 49:20; 54:3; cf. also 14:1; 60:21). Secondly, all the ancient versions support the MT reading. Thirdly, although the verb בָּעַל (ba’al) can mean “to marry,” its basic idea is “to possess.” Consequently, the verb stresses a relationship more than a state. All the ancient versions render this verb “to dwell in” or “to dwell with.” The point is not just that the land will be reinhabited, but that it will be in a relationship of “belonging” to the Israelites. Hence a relational verb like בָּעַל is used (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:581). Finally, “sons” is a well-known metaphor for “inhabitants” (J. de Waard, Isaiah, 208). will marry you.
As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.
6 I#sn The speaker here is probably the prophet. post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they should keep praying all day and all night.#tn Heb “all day and all night continually they do not keep silent.” The following lines suggest that they pray for the Lord’s intervention and restoration of the city.
You who pray to#tn Or “invoke”; NIV “call on”; NASB, NRSV “remind.” the Lord, don’t be silent!
7 Don’t allow him to rest until he reestablishes Jerusalem,#tn “Jerusalem” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons; note the following line.
until he makes Jerusalem the pride#tn Heb “[the object of] praise.” of the earth.
8 The Lord swears an oath by his right hand,
by his strong arm:#tn The Lord’s right hand and strong arm here symbolize his power and remind the audience that his might guarantees the fulfillment of the following promise.
“I will never again give your grain
to your enemies as food,
and foreigners will not drink your wine,
which you worked hard to produce.
9 But those who harvest the grain#tn Heb “it,” the grain mentioned in v. 8a. will eat it,
and will praise the Lord.
Those who pick the grapes will drink the wine#tn Heb “and those who gather it will drink it.” The masculine singular pronominal suffixes attached to “gather” and “drink” refer back to the masculine noun תִּירוֹשׁ (tirosh, “wine”) in v. 8b.
in the courts of my holy sanctuary.”
10 Come through! Come through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people!
Build it! Build the roadway!
Remove the stones!
Lift a signal flag for the nations!
11 Look, the Lord announces to the entire earth:#tn Heb “to the end of the earth” (so NASB, NRSV).
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘Look, your deliverer comes!
Look, his reward is with him
and his reward goes before him!’”#sn As v. 12 indicates, the returning exiles are the Lord’s reward/prize. See also 40:10 and the note there.
12 They will be called, “The Holy People,
the Ones Protected#tn Or “the redeemed of the Lord” (KJV, NAB). by the Lord.”
You will be called, “Sought After,
City Not Abandoned.”